Hey, is there anybody nowadays who doesnt want to be on TV? Sometimes even on two different shows in completely unrelated fields where his option has just been picked up for two years in one unrelated field and hes shamelessly using the other field to suck applause marrow out of the helpless behavior-mod rats stuck in his studio audience only because they unluckily stumbled into a Partridge Family bus outside Manns Chinese Theater?
Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but while show business from the outside may seem like a nonstop whirlwind of gorgeous people, fabulous clothes, sparkling parties and spectacular homes, the reality is exactly that. Sorry, folks. I wish I had some balm to soothe you, but I don't. It's fucking awesome.
From Balinese shadow plays to bullfighters in Madrid to the porn studios of the San Fernando Valley to The Craig Kilborn Show, the only human desire more universal than the urge to put on a show is the urge to get paid for it.
Show business is rife with paradox. It's brutally competitive and yet attracts people with egos as fragile as Strom Thurmonds hip. There's no doubt about it, show business lures the people who didn't get enough love, attention, or approval early in life and have grown up to become bottomless, gaping vessels of terrifying, abject need... Please laugh.
What draws the average person into a career in Show Business? Simple--they want to get laid. Take any one of the Backstreet Boys or the kids from N Sync and put them behind a deli counter with a paper hat and day old meat stains on their apron, and the only spears they'd have their hands on would be Vlasic Kosher Dills.
Sometimes I'll be flipping through the channels on my dish and I'll happen upon this television show from Iraq called "The Chabab Abeeely Program." And this guy Chabab Abeeely looks really self-satisfied, singing, dancing, giving away the Chabab Abeeely home game to the Chabab Abeeely studio audience, and I always wonder: Does Chabab Abeeely really think he, Chabab Abeeely, is in show business? Do you, Chabab Abeeely?
Why did I want to get into show business? For the same reason Chabab Abeeely did. In hopes of being immortalized by the no-frills Raymond-Chandler-if-he-had-no-talent narrative of the E Channels smoke-enshrouded A.J. Benza. Hey, A.J. Violation of the Peter Principle. Ain't it a bitch?
In the early eighties, I worked comedy clubs across the country nearly every week of the year. Many times I drove fifteen hundred miles at a time in a rusted out AMC Pacer with tires balder than William Shatner fleeing his house during a 3 AM earthquake, and a blinking dashboard warning-light that said "Hey Asshole, Somethings On Fire And It's Not Your Career" All this just for the privilege of sharing a skanky one-bedroom apartment-slash-gulag with two other jerkoffs in skinny, crinkle ties, one of whom invariably had a cough so bad that a Welsh coal miner would tell him to get it checked out, and the other of whom was constantly bragging about getting laid by two different chicks every week for the past six years and screamed like Lawrence of Arabia galloping into Aqaba every time he tried to urinate.
And yet, being in show business has its drawbacks... The other day I was at one of my favorite eateries, and I got interrupted in mid-bite by someone asking me, "Are you" And I said, "Yes, I'm Dennis Miller. Can we do this later?" And he said, "Do what later? I wanted to know: Are you finished with that ketchup?" The point I'm making is, if you're in show business, the only thing worse than getting interrupted for an autograph during a meal is not getting interrupted for an autograph during a meal. And when you begin to have more uninterrupted meals than Rudolf Hess in Spandau, it's time to consider another line of work.
Trust me, you don't want to overstay your welcome in this town. Because you start to panic and everyone begins to see those rivulets of sweat running down your forehead, dripping off your chin, and it unnerves them, because they are then reminded of their own tenuous little toehold on the steep, shale cliffs of success, so they'll take any opportunity to loosen your pitons, causing you to plummet backwards onto the jagged rocks at the base of the Piedmont and impale yourself on a stalagmite where the others still in the game can then watch the carrion birds feast on your exposed, still-warm entrails. [SING] "Theres no business like showbusiness!"
And in show business, it can take decades to become an overnight success, and only moments to be considered a lifetime failure. Ask Vanilla Ice. If he'll come out from under your car at Meineke.
And don't think you can sleep your way to the top, because I guarantee you, somebodys going to try to fuck you while youre sleeping. And the casting couch? A total myth! There is no couch. Trust me, it's never anything more comfortable than a rented card table covered in head shots ... Or so I've heard.
Listen, I would recommend this business only if you absolutely must receive constant attention to be happy and fulfilled and you have already proven yourself unqualified for a more pleasant profession like being a medical test subject. Yes, the highs can be dazzling, but the views they provide are often straight to the bottom of the chasm ahead of you. I am sorry, young dreamer, but I cannot encourage you to join me in this difficult, wearying life, because I fear for your financial well-being, I am concerned about your mental health, I tremble at the pain you might cause yourself and your family, and most importantly, I sure as shit don't need any more competition.
Look, bottom line, no matter how glamorous it appears to be, show business will always be a grueling and frequently humiliating industry. And you know what? I don't care who you know, you never start out at the top, no matter what business you're in. First you're given oil wells, then you're given a baseball team, and then, and only then, are you given the White House.
Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.